Analysis of the adult thymus in reconstitution of T lymphocytes in HIV-1 infection.
A key question in understanding the status of the immune system in HIV-1 infection is whether the adult thymus contributes to reconstitution of peripheral T lymphocytes. We analyzed the thymus in adult patients who died of HIV-1 infection. In addition, we studied the clinical course of HIV-1 infection in three patients thymectomized for myasthenia gravis and determined the effect of antiretroviral therapy on CD4(+) T cells. We found that five of seven patients had thymus tissue at autopsy and that all thymuses identified had inflammatory infiltrates surrounding lymphodepleted thymic epithelium. Two of seven patients also had areas of thymopoiesis; one of these patients had peripheral blood CD4(+) T-cell levels of <50/mm3 for 51 months prior to death. Of three thymectomized patients, one rapidly progressed to AIDS, one progressed to AIDS over seven years (normal progressor), whereas the third remains asymptomatic at least seven years after seroconversion. Both latter patients had rises in peripheral blood CD4(+) T cells after antiretroviral therapy. Most patients who died of complications of HIV-1 infection did not have functional thymus tissue, and when present, thymopoiesis did not prevent prolonged lymphopenia. Thymectomy before HIV-1 infection did not preclude either peripheral CD4(+) T-cell rises or clinical responses after antiretroviral therapy. (+info)
Thymic selection by a single MHC/peptide ligand: autoreactive T cells are low-affinity cells.
In H2-M- mice, the presence of a single peptide, CLIP, bound to MHC class II molecules generates a diverse repertoire of CD4+ cells. In these mice, typical self-peptides are not bound to class II molecules, with the result that a very high proportion of H2-M- CD4+ cells are responsive to the various peptides displayed on normal MHC-compatible APC. We show here, however, that such "self" reactivity is controlled by low-affinity CD4+ cells. These cells give spectacularly high proliferative responses but are virtually unreactive in certain other assays, e.g., skin graft rejection; responses to MHC alloantigens, by contrast, are intense in all assays. Possible explanations for why thymic selection directed to a single peptide curtails self specificity without affecting alloreactivity are discussed. (+info)
Clearance of Chlamydia trachomatis from the murine genital mucosa does not require perforin-mediated cytolysis or Fas-mediated apoptosis.
The molecular mechanisms of resistance to genital infection with the mouse pneumonitis (MoPn) strain of Chlamydia trachomatis are unknown. A role for major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted, interleukin-12-dependent CD4(+) T cells has been established, but the functional activity of these cells does not depend on secretion of gamma interferon. Here we examined the potential contribution of T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis to mucosal clearance of MoPn by using mice deficient in the molecular mediators of target cell lysis. Animals lacking perforin, Fas, Fas ligand, or both perforin and Fas ligand were infected genitally with C. trachomatis MoPn and monitored for expression of immunity to chlamydial antigens and clearance of MoPn from the genital mucosa. In each case, the profile of spleen cytokine production, the magnitude of the host antibody response, and the kinetics of chlamydial clearance were similar to those of genetically intact controls. Compensatory overproduction of tumor necrosis factor alpha, an alternate mediator of apoptosis in certain cell types, did not appear to account for the ability of mutant mice to resolve Chlamydia infections. These results fail to support CD4(+) T-cell-mediated apoptosis or CD8(+) T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity as being critical to the clearance of C. trachomatis MoPn urogenital infections. (+info)
Fas and Fas ligand interaction induces apoptosis in inflammatory myopathies: CD4+ T cells cause muscle cell injury directly in polymyositis.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the involvement of the Fas/Fas ligand (Fas/FasL) system in the inflammatory myopathies. METHODS: Frozen muscle sections obtained from 7 patients with polymyositis (PM), 4 patients with dermatomyositis (DM), and 3 controls were studied by immunochemistry. Apoptosis was detected by DNA electrophoresis and in situ labeling using the TUNEL method. RESULTS: Fas was detected on muscle fibers and infiltrating mononuclear cells (MNC) in 6 PM patients and 2 DM patients. FasL was expressed mainly on CD4+ T cells and some CD8+ T cells, and on macrophages surrounding Fas-positive muscles in 4 PM patients and 1 DM patient. In 3 of the 5 patients with FasL-positive MNC, the TUNEL method showed that both invaded myonuclei and MNC underwent apoptosis. Chromosomal DNA from the muscle tissue of these patients showed ladder formation. CONCLUSION: Fas/FasL is involved in muscle cell apoptosis in at least 2 of the inflammatory myopathies, PM and DM. Although CD8+-mediated cytotoxicity is thought to be the main mechanism of muscle injury in PM, our data suggest that CD4+ T cells also directly cause muscle cell damage. (+info)
Expanded tumor-reactive CD4+ T-cell responses to human cancers induced by secondary anti-CD3/anti-CD28 activation.
Generation of tumor-reactive T cells in large numbers ex vivo is a requisite step in the adoptive immunotherapy of patients. We examined the immune responses of T cells derived from tumor vaccine-primed lymph nodes activated with anti-CD3 alone and with an anti-CD3/anti-CD28 combination. Nylon wool-purified CD3+ cells were isolated from vaccine-primed lymph nodes obtained from melanoma, renal cell, and head and neck cancer patients. In the absence of antigen-presenting cells, activation with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 greatly enhanced subsequent T-cell expansion in interleukin 2 (>100-fold), compared to anti-CD3 alone. CD4+ T cells were preferentially stimulated. In four of eight patients, we found evidence of CD4+ cellular responses to autologous tumors by cytokine release assays. Positively selected CD4+ cells activated with anti-CD3/anti-CD28 released greater amounts of cytokine (IFN-gamma and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor) in response to autologous tumors compared to cells activated by anti-CD3 alone. The CD4+ reactivity was MHC class II restricted and appeared to be associated with the expression of class II molecules on the vaccinating tumor cells. The CD4+ T-cell responses to class II-restricted tumor-associated antigens in patients with renal cell cancers represent unique findings. (+info)
Chlamydia infections and heart disease linked through antigenic mimicry.
Chlamydia infections are epidemiologically linked to human heart disease. A peptide from the murine heart muscle-specific alpha myosin heavy chain that has sequence homology to the 60-kilodalton cysteine-rich outer membrane proteins of Chlamydia pneumoniae, C. psittaci, and C. trachomatis was shown to induce autoimmune inflammatory heart disease in mice. Injection of the homologous Chlamydia peptides into mice also induced perivascular inflammation, fibrotic changes, and blood vessel occlusion in the heart, as well as triggering T and B cell reactivity to the homologous endogenous heart muscle-specific peptide. Chlamydia DNA functioned as an adjuvant in the triggering of peptide-induced inflammatory heart disease. Infection with C. trachomatis led to the production of autoantibodies to heart muscle-specific epitopes. Thus, Chlamydia-mediated heart disease is induced by antigenic mimicry of a heart muscle-specific protein. (+info)
T-cell expression of the human GATA-3 gene is regulated by a non-lineage-specific silencer.
The GATA-3 transcription factor is required for development of the T-cell lineage and Th2 cytokine gene expression in CD4 T-cells. We have mapped the DNase-I-hypersensitive (HS) regions of the human GATA-3 gene in T-cells and non-T-cells and studied their transcriptional activities. HS I-III, located 5' from the transcriptional initiation site, were found in hematopoietic and non-hematopoietic cells, whereas HS IV-VII, located 3' from the transcriptional start site, were exclusively observed in T-cells. Among these hypersensitive sites, two transcriptional control elements were found, one in the first intron of the GATA-3 gene and the other between 8.3 and 5.9 kilobases 5' from the GATA-3 transcriptional initiation site. The first intron acted as a strong transcriptional activator in a position-dependent manner and with no cell-type specificity. The upstream regulatory element could confer T-cell specificity to the GATA-3 promoter activity, and analysis of this region revealed a 707-base pair silencer that drastically inhibited GATA-3 promoter activity in non-T-cells. Two CAGGTG E-boxes, located at the 5'- and 3'-ends of the silencer, were necessary for this silencer activity. The 3'-CAGGTG E-box could bind USF proteins, the ubiquitous repressor ZEB, or the basic helix-loop-helix proteins E2A and HEB, and we showed that a competition between ZEB and E2A/HEB proteins is involved in the silencer activity. (+info)
Phenotypic and functional characterization of CD8(+) T cell clones specific for a mouse cytomegalovirus epitope.
A series of CD8(+) T cell clones, specific for the IE1 epitope YPHFMPTNL, of the immediate-early protein 1 of the murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) were generated in order to determine their protective activity against this infection and correlate their phenotypic markers with antiviral activity. We found that the adoptive transfer of three of these anti-MCMV CD8(+) T cell clones into irradiated naive mice resulted in protection against challenge, while another CD8(+) T cell clone, of the same specificity, failed to confer protection. The clones that conferred protection against lethal challenge reduced greatly viral replication in the lung and other organs of the mice. Using one of the protective anti-MCMV CD8(+) T cell clones we found that in order to be fully protective the cells had to be transferred to recipient mice no later than 1 day after MCMV challenge. The adoptive transfer of these CD8(+) T cell clones also protected CD4(+) T-cell-depleted mice. Phenotypic characterization of the anti-MCMV clones revealed that the nonprotective clone expressed very low levels of CD8 molecules and produced only small amounts of TNF-alpha upon antigenic stimulation. Most importantly, our current study demonstrates that this MHC class I-restricted IE1 epitope of MCMV is efficiently presented to CD8(+) T cell clones in vivo and further strengthens the possibility of the potential use of CD8(+) T cell clones as immunotherapeutic tools against cytomegalovirus-induced disease. (+info)